Lille Christmas Markets Tour: Suggested Three-Day Itinerary
Day One (Outward): Local pick-up
to Dover. Ferry to Calais. Onward travel to your accommodation in Lille (3* B&B for two nights). Check-in & evening free. (Note: This itinerary can be adapted for groups wishing to travel via P&O North Sea Ferries sailing overnight from Hull. Please ask our staff for details).
Day Two (Lille): Explore Lille's 17th century old town with its Flemish-influenced architecture before visiting the Christmas Market in the Place Rihour. Visits include:
Grand Place (Place Charles de Gaulle): Site of the medieval market place, surrounded by decorative brick buildings, pavement brasseries.
La Vieille Bourse: One of Lille's finest buildings. Built between 1652-3 as a stock exchange for the merchants of Lille. There is a variety of shops on the ground floor.
Opera: Designed by Louis Marie Cordonnier in the Belle Époque
Hotel de Ville & Belfry: The original town hall &the belfry were both destroyed during the First World War & rebuilt in the 1920s. The belfry is 104 metres in height.
Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle: The house where de Gaulle was born in 1890. The furnished rooms show the bourgeois life-style of his early years.
The Citadel: Lille was ceded to France by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1668. The Citadel was one of a chain of fortifications constructed by Vauban. (See also the collection of models & reliefs of Vauban's fortresses in the Palais des Beaux Arts).
Christmas Market: Lille has one of the largest Christmas Markets in northern France with a giant Ferris Wheel as its centrepiece. There are more than 140 chalets & stalls.
Day Three (Lille & Return): Morning visit to:
Palais des Beaux Arts: Built between 1885-92 & now home to one of the largest art galleries in France. The original gallery was founded by Napoleonic decree.
Works by Raphael, Donatello, Van Dyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, El Greco, David, Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Toulouse-Lautrec & Rodin.
Depart after lunch for Calais & ferry crossing to Dover. Return to your local drop-off point.
Add a Day with an Ypres Battlefield Tour: A full-day guided tour including Hooge, Langemark German Cemetery, Pilckem Ridge, Essex Farm, Menin Gate & Tyne Cot Cemetery.